Update: 14/08/2015 — A Holden spokesperson has responded to the photographs saying, “Holden constantly test a number of vehicles on local roads to ensure they continue to be suited to Australian conditions. We have nothing to announce at this time.”
Following on from our exclusive story about the new 6.2L V8 engine set to feature in the 2016 Holden VF Commodore SS Series II and 2016 Holden WN Caprice, we have snagged exclusive spy photos of the final locally produced Commodore testing in Melbourne.
Pictured here in what we expect is SS V Redline trim, there are a number of visible changes evident from the photographs.
The current L98 6.0-litre V8 engine that produces 260kW of power and 517Nm of torque will be replaced by a 6.2-litre V8 engine with codename L99. This engine is locally expected to produce around 304kW of power at 5900rpm when mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, down on the same engine used in the US-market Chevrolet SS, which produces 310kW of power.
The upgraded L99 engine comes with fuel-saving technology that includes E85 flex fuel compatibility and active fuel management that can shut down up to four cylinders during light throttle loads. Additionally, the L99 engine also comes with camshaft phasing technology, which is the simplest form of variable valve timing, whereby the angle of the camshaft is rotated backwards and forwards relative to the crankshaft.
At the front, the car bra conceals a lightly modified front end, along with bonnet vents at the top left and right edges. Also visible beneath the car bra is a new grille that includes offset lines as opposed to the current vehicle’s horizontally slatted grille.
Inside the cabin, this vehicle doesn’t have the wrap-around seats we were expecting from the US market Chevrolet SS. However, we can see a set of paddleshifters attached to the steering wheel, meaning that buyers that choose the automatic transmission option will be able to shift gears without taking their hands off the wheel — this is likely to be carried over to SS variants and possible V6 variants.
We expect that the wheels on this vehicle are just temporary placeholders for a new set of wheels that will grace the Series II Commodore range. It’s interesting to see that Brembo brakes now sit on the front and rear, an upgrade from the Brembo-only front brakes fitted to the current SS V Redline.
Around the rear, we don’t expect there to be any changes, which is why this particular test vehicle remains uncovered at the rear. One change we did notice is a bi-modal exhaust module fitted to the exhaust system. This will allow the SS range to bellow as it gets above a predetermined pressure range dictated by rpm.
The new Holden Commodore and Holden Caprice range is expected to be unveiled in September. CarAdvice has contacted Holden for comment and will keep you posted as more information comes to hand.
Click on the Photos tab to see more images of the final locally produced 2016 Holden VF Commodore Series II.